Keeping Cool in Any Temperature
After driving for over 12,000 miles through the USA, Latin America, and Europe, RC knows that car air conditioners don't always work when you need them most.
With the temperature in the 90s and the humidity at 70-80 percent, our air conditioner decided to take a vacation one time. We cranked down the windows to cool ourselves, but the evaporative effect doesn't work for a cat or dog because they don't perspire as humans do. Also, RC's response to the road noise was to head for the floor boards which gave him very little air flow. It was clear he was getting overheated fast, yet there was no mechanic in sight.
We racked our brains to think of a way to drop RC's internal temperature. At the next small market, we bought a bag of ice and a 3 liter plastic pitcher that had a wide mouth, tight fitting lid, and was fairly flat on 2 sides. We broke the ice up and stuffed it into the pitcher.
RC snuggled up to the cool pitcher without any encouragement. Within 10-15 minutes, he was relaxed and sleeping. We've used this technique a number of times when we had to wait for an hour or more to cross an international border. We've also discovered that if you can't find ice, then use ice cold soft drink cans. They're only good for short periods.
If your cat has really overheated, try putting the ice jug (not just the ice) under his tail for a short time. This seems to cool RC faster than if he just stretches his chest and stomach across the bottles. RC taught us this trick, but he only uses it in extreme situations. :)
We also keep a thermometer hanging from the dash or rear view mirror so we know the temperature inside the car. You'll be amazed how quickly things heat up inside a vehicle, even on moderate days. We always try to take RC with us when we leave the car, but there are times when that's not possible. Unless it's winter outside, we leave ice jugs available so RC can cool down. Although he hates getting wet, RC seems to understand when it's important and doesn't hesitate to wrap himself around the ice jugs to keep himself comfortable.
We now carry a rubber ice pack in the side pocket of RC's traveling case to insure we're always prepared. If the ice pack gets moist from condensation, then we simply wrap it in a towel so our little guy doesn't get too wet.
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